Michael Mullady

Editor’s note: ‘WIDE angle’ is a photo commentary by Michael Mullady that will run every Tuesday.

In this image, I combined my love for landscape photography with my passion for capturing people in unparalleled moments to express a visual story. Since transplanting myself to Morro Bay five months ago, I have found endless photographic opportunities. While some of the photographs I have taken are a result of being in the right place at the right time, others, such as the one seen here, have required a certain sincere dedication to the subject.

If you have ever voyaged out of San Luis Obispo and headed up U.S. Highway 1 into Morro Bay, chances are you may have seen a white van with the words, “more said in fewer strokes,” written across it. The feeble man behind the wheel calls himself “Brother Frog.”

A truly unique character indeed, his lifestyle is one many would roll their eyes at. He spends his nights sleeping in a sailboat and his days selling artwork out of his van. He has no family, only an arthritis-stricken dog named Shiloh.

In the last few months, I have developed a substantial interest in Brother Frog. I feel the way he chooses to live out his days can be an inspiration to us all. Lifestyles are subjective and I have a genuine respect for those who, despite societies molding tactics, travel the unbeaten path and do what truly makes them happy.

One day, after witnessing this man’s routine for several weeks, I decided to approach him. I explained that I was a photojournalist and was interested in putting together a photo-story on him. As an artist himself he had no objection and soon after I was shadowing him in his daily routine, capturing images for my piece “WIDE angel.” Out of the numerous photographs I have taken, the image you see here is the single shot I chose to tell his story. It was taken one winter night as he prepared to lift Shiloh into a paddleboat that would take them just offshore to the sailboat he calls home.

Through my vision, this image defines his choices in life. We viewers get the privilege to glimpse into his world, and for once, “Brother Frog” has become the painting.

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